Every time we book a flight, a Passenger Name Record is generated and saved by an outdated system, which links to private travel data. Paz Pena, Leil-Zahra Mortada and Rose Regina Lawrence for the Tactical Technology Collective outline that data and describe the consequences of the system failing to keep data private.
But although the PNR system was originally designed to facilitate the sharing of information rather than the protection of it, in the current digital environment and with the cyber-threats facing our data online, this system needs to be updated to keep up with the existing risks. PNRs are information-rich files are not only of interest for governments; they are also valuable to third parties – whether corporations or adversaries. Potential uses of the data could include anything from marketing research to hacks aimed at obtaining our personal information for financial scams or even doxxing or inflicting harm on activists.
Maybe be more careful next time you post your travel pictures online.